Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)


French: Étourneau unicolore German: Einfarbstar Spanish: Estornino negro

Sturnus unicolor


, 1820,



Formerly considered conspecific with S. vulgaris; see that species. Monotypic.


Iberian Peninsula, S France, N Africa (Morocco, NE Algeria and Tunisia), and Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily.

Descriptive notes

22 cm; 70–100 g. Medium-sized starling with feathers of crown, nape, throat and upper breast greatly elongated (up to twice length of same feathers on S. vulgaris... read more


Male sings in most months; both sexes sing in winter, and at roost. Song consists of whistles and... read more


Open woodland with expanses of short grass, often in association with grazing mammals; farmland,... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous, animal food predominating in spring and summer, fruit and seeds in autumn and winter. Vertebrates taken include small frogs and... read more


Season Apr to mid-Jul in Spain and Mar–Jul in Morocco; often double-brooded. Primarily monogamous; some males polygynous, and at some... read more


Largely sedentary. Some ringed individuals found to make extensive movements which may represent... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant. Common and widespread in Iberia and N Morocco, and locally common in Sardinia; less numerous and more sparsely... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A., Feare, C. & Bonan, A. (2019). Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).